Example Letter #1
I feel I owe you a personal apology for my insensitive comment at the meeting yesterday. I know these days since John's funeral have been very difficult for you, and I was clearly out of order in making reference to "merry widows." I'm sorry you had to suffer from my foolishness.
I hope you will be able to forgive me. I have tremendous respect for you and your abilities, and I hope we can continue to work well together. I'm terribly sorry.
Example Letter #2
I'm sorry I spoke so sharply to you on the phone last night. As you know, I am a morning person and I had been asleep for about fifteen minutes when you called. I'm not sure I was completely awake.
You are a dear friend, and I would not intentionally hurt your feelings. Please accept my apology and let me make it up to you by taking you to lunch Friday. It's been a while since we had a good talk.
Example Letter #3
I am so sorry for the way I spoke about you in the interview. My comments were very insensitive and I know they must have hurt you. I hope you will forgive me and try to understand how something like this might happen when I open my big mouth. The trouble is, I tend to speak sarcastically even when my audience might be apt to take me literally. I hope you will believe what you hear me say instead of what you read. Our relationship is very valuable to me. I hope you will allow me to make this up to you.
Example Letter #4
I want you to know how sorry I am for the misunderstanding over who was going to pay for Jane's birthday lunch. I assumed we would each pay an equal share, but I must have given you the impression that the lunch was my treat. I am really embarrassed about the breakdown in communication. I will be sure in the future that I make the arrangements clear ahead of time. Anyway, I am happy we could get together; we don't see each other often enough. I am glad our friendship can survive misunderstandings like these.
Write Your Letter Step-by-Step
Begin with a straightforward apology. Do not rehash the incident, but be specific enough that your reader will know that you acknowledge your error.
Example Sentences for Step 1
Example Phrases for Step 1
Acknowledge the reader's pain, if appropriate.
Example Sentences for Step 2
Example Phrases for Step 2
Ask for forgiveness and indicate that you value your relationship with the reader.
Example Sentences for Step 3
Example Phrases for Step 3
Explain your behavior if appropriate, but do not excuse it in any way.
Example Sentences for Step 4
Example Phrases for Step 4
End with a positive statement.